As I’ve gotten older, my reliance on text for communication has increased exponentially. If not in person, I almost never use my voice for communication. Sometimes the mere act of listening to someone feels inefficient. Listen, older people talk slowly. You can have enough context clues to know what’s about to be said, or maybe it’s just the 400th time you’ve heard that story about Aunt Millie losing her teeth that time she blew Uncle Milt on the haunted hayride (which is what we call any hayride now, RIP Uncle Milt – also, that is a killer story). Sometimes listening to an older person talk slowly you feel as if they’re staving off death by not getting to the punctuation mark. There’s Death, standing over Grandpa Joe, scythe glistening in the soft amber hues of the incandescent bulb (old people are slow to change even if it means saving pennies on the electric bill and helping the planet), his hooded cape like midnight on a moonless night flows in a wind that wasn’t present before his arrival. The mere presence of this unearthly entity seems to suck the oxygen out of the room. Grandpa Joe, sickly and pale, lies motionless with a look of sorrow on his face a mere shell of the man that once wrestled a pheromone-crazed donkey outside of an entertainment venue to impress a beautiful fluffer that assisted with the show. Death’s dark visage appears to gaze directly through Grandpa Joe as a raspy, but somehow soothing voice calls to Joe for any last words. And somehow this is the time Joe wants to be a gambler, “I….would….just…..like….to…..” And he dies. Death ain’t got time for that shit and neither do I. So I prefer text.
In all seriousness, I text so often with other people that primarily text that we’ve learned to accent all of our communication with symbols to represent missing body language cues or inflection of vocal patterns. Basically “lol” after everything we say, joke or not, to let the recipient know that we are completely incapable of a statement that doesn’t make us sound like the village idiot.
“Going to work lol”
“just left the gym lol”
“Just butt-banged your mom lol”
Ok ok, the first two were exaggerations, but the point is the same. It’s like watching Jimmy Fallon on his early SNL episodes, laughter after every joke told to tell the other person it’s a joke (Note: Jimmy Fallon IS funny – don’t misunderstand). Really takes the mental aspect out joke telling. I’m going to consider a career as a stand-up comic where I don’t tell jokes, I just stand up in front of people and laugh until they laugh along.
My grandpa is my older equivalent. He actually lol’s after things he pronounces verbally. Yes, he actually laughs after almost every statement even when it’s not a joke. “Weather has been nice lately” *laughs* “That’s a bright red truck” *laughs* “I went to work today” *laughs* (to be fair, we all usually laugh a little when he says that, my grandpa is a barber and when business is slow you can find him napping in his barber chair – you know, working).
Maybe this new generation isn’t so different after all. Just a bunch of chuckleheads wandering around laughing at themselves like the little boy that discovers his dingle and can’t keep his hands off of it not matter how hard he beats it, I mean you beat him. (I realize I could have deleted that, it was a joke, dammit.) Just new incarnations of the same thing. Life goes on, lol.
Ramble ramble, sleep deprivation makes it hard to form these thoughts together in coherent strings. The whole time I was attempting to transcribe this nonsense all I could think was “in my stupor this morning, did I put on deodorant?” (Yes, yes I did).